George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons, 22 April 1777

From Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons

Danbury [Conn.] 22d Apl 1777


The Detachments marchd from the several Regiments in this State are less than I expected owing to a Variety of unforeseen Accidents—435 Non Com. Officers & Soldiers, with a Suitable Number of Officers to command them have marchd to Head Quarters & Peekskill, I expect another Detachment will be ready this Week—every possible Method to forward the Levies & Promote recruiting shall be attended to by me.

Inclosd is a Sentence of a Court Martial against One Robert Thompson—He appears to be an artful intriguing Person, & may perhaps be made a very Useful Person to detect & discover the Machinations of our internal Enemies, if this should be tho’t of more Importance than the Good which may be derivd from his Death.1

In the Course of this Inquiry it appears to be the General Expectation of the Tories, that the Enemy will soon land on the Coast about 20 Miles from this Place & attempt to secure or destroy the Magazine of Provisions &c. here—Of late considerable Bodies of disaffected Persons have collected in this Neighbourhood & it seems their Intention [is] to Join the Enemy on their landing—As the Stores here are of great Importance I think it highly necessary a strong Guard should be kept here—however as the Necessity for Men is so great at Camp I shall forward them On to Peekkill Unless I should receive Orders to Leave a Guard at this Place.

I have heard Nothing from your Excellency since the 3d of April; I should be glad to receive your Excellency’s Directions about clothing the Troops raisd to the first of Jany & about their receiving the small Pox. I am yr Excellency’s Obedt hbl. Servt

Saml H. Parsons


1The enclosed proceedings of the court-martial that met at Danbury on 21 April and condemned Robert Thompson to death for committing “Treasonable Practises against the United States; ... recruiting within the State of Connecticut, for the Enemies Service, & ... spying out the State of the Country, and Army with an intent to give intelligence thereof to the Enemy,” are in DLC:GW. The evidence presented against Thompson during the trial included several recruiting documents in his handwriting that he had signed “as Captn in his Majesties Service.”

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